Skip to Main Content

Student associations win in Divisional Court

November 22, 2019

Court quashes Government directive on student fees that was “contrary to law”

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, three judges of the Ontario Divisional Court upheld a judicial review challenge brought by the Canadian Federation of Students and the York Federation of Students, and quashed the Ford Government’s so-called “Student Choice Initiative.”

In its decision, the Court struck down the government’s attempt to require universities and colleges to prevent student associations from receiving student fees that had been democratically determined and supported by students.

the Divisional Court held that the directives were “not authorized by law and are inconsistent with the autonomy granted universities, bedrock principles on which Ontario universities have been governed for more than 100 years.”  The Court also noted that, other than Premier Ford’s stated reasons for targeting student associations (i.e. that they “we all know what kind of crazy Marxist nonsense student unions get up to”), the government had entirely failed to explain why it had concluded that “of all the components of ancillary fees charged to college and university students, only one – student association fees – was deemed by Cabinet to be non-essential.”

Read our summary of the case here.


Louis Century, Geetha Philipupillai, Ella Bedard

Practice Areas

Administrative Law, Civil Litigation